Yordano Ventura #82 – 2013 Top 100
Kansas City Royals
Date of Birth: June 3rd, 1991(age 22)
Origin: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2008 out of Samana, Samana, Dominican Republic
JD Sussman: It’s hard not to root for a slight right-hander who reaches triple digits. In addition to a laterally moving fastball, Ventura owns a work-in-progress slider and a raw change up, but both pitches made strides in 2012. The rotation Dayton Moore has assembled is shockingly poor despite spending a large sum on upgrading it. Should an injury occur (likely) or someone underwhelms (likely) expect to see Ventura thrown onto Dayton Moore’s self-inflicted wound. The biggest concern with Ventura is his size. Similar to Carlos Martinez, Ventura is tiny and I wonder if his can hold up against the rigors of a full season.
Al Skorupa: Ventura could really take the league by storm if he gets a shot in 2013. It’s an impact arm with electric stuff. He has fantastic arm speed and plus present velocity. The league may figure him out some once they see him a few times though. The command and control need to improve, but I do feel Ventura can be effectively wild to some degree. A more pressing issue is whether the Royals can help him find a consistent off-speed pitch to play off of his heater and power curve ball. Ultimately, pitching prospects need to miss bats whatever their flaws are. Is Ventura going to miss bats? Lots of them.
Stephen Kuperman: Yordano Ventura is a fun prospect to talk about: a young kid who, despite being much more thrower than pitcher at this point, still held his own in the Texas League — no easy task. He generates elite velocity with consistency and without difficulty, although I’m still a little iffy on his current arm action holding up under the demands of a major league season. Like a number of other Royals prospects, he shows impressive promise with his change up, and I believe that he stands to make substantial progress with that pitch with smoother mechanics and more experience. At lower levels his stuff was so good that he was able to throw plenty of strikes without fear of damage, but his stint in Northwest Arkansas indexes the gap between Ventura’s control and command — the latter being a work in progress. While he is small enough that the specter of “future reliever” is likely to follow him unless/until he manages to put up 180 innings in a MLB season, pitchers like Ventura who show across-the-board promise with their repertoire, control, and command are not easy to find; guys who show all of those things with his kind of top-end velocity are even rarer. As long as he continues to make steady progress with his craft, I see no reason to be concerned about his future role. I am expecting good things out of Ventura in the years to come; he has the potential to be a true front-line starter.
Fantasy Outlook by JD Sussman
Ventura has already reached Double-A, so he should be considered a 2013 option for the Royals. He will return to Double-A at the beginning of the year, and the progression of his command will dictate whether he gets the call as a starter or reliever. He isn’t worth a roster spot in a draft league, but in deeper leagues he should be owned in all formats.